Since posting back-to-back 30-goal seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07 with Montreal, Bruins winger Michael Ryder has been a model of inconsistency.
In 2007-08, his last season with the Habs, Ryder lit the lamp just 14 times. But the following season, his first with Boston, he bounced back with a 27-goal campaign. Last season, Ryder slipped again with just 18 goals and 33 points.
This inconsistency combined with a $4 million salary cap hit has led many media members and fans to label Ryder a likely candidate for trade, buyout or demotion.
But on Sunday, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, pointing to Ryder’s playoff performance with Boston, warned against writing off Ryder.
Ryder has nine goals and 18 points in 24 playoff games for the Bruins, and apparently that's enough for Chiarelli to earn Ryder a chance at another bounce-back season.
“I know there’s been a lot written about Mike that he’s the odd man out,” Chiarelli acknowledged. “I wouldn’t say that right now because I think he’s been one of our better performers in the last two years in the playoffs. That’s the type of stuff that’s hard to get. Camp is early and we’ll see how his performance goes the rest of the way.”
Chiarelli didn’t have much to say about Ryder's performace in camp so far, but credited him for his offseason conditioning.
“I haven’t minded his camp,” Chiarelli said. “I mean he’s been in one game. He came to camp in better shape than he has before. That’s never really been an issue, but his run test was better, his vertical jump was better. So he’s done some good work over the summer.”